Monday, February 22, 2010

Abendessen (Dinner)

In the entire time Thomas and I have been together, he has cooked for me exactly once. Pasta Aglio E Olio. Combined total of four ingredients (if you count the parsley garnish). Total time of twenty minutes start to finish. Thomas has no interest in cooking. Nada. Zilch. Null. None. Before we started dating, his meal repertoire consisted of the following:
  1. Wasa crisps with cream cheese
  2. Cereal
  3. Spaghetti with ketchup
  4. Hot dogs - and I had to explain that he really should not eat them cold right from the package.
I knew I was in trouble the first time I opened the pantry in Thomas' apartment. He'd converted it into a closet for his PUMA collection. But here's the kicker. He ACTUALLY, REALLY, TRULY thought that the closet was supposed to be for shoes because the shelves were the perfect size. He could not even fathom that anyone would need that much space for food in their home. Wasn't that what the cabinets in the kitchen were for? The cabinets that housed his 12 boxes of cereal (hello Seinfeld) and his three pots?

Fast forward five years. For Valentine's Day this year I wanted only one thing. I wanted us to cook a meal together. Garlic, wine, good music, candles. I was psyched. Thomas was willing. But reluctant. Oh so very reluctant. But willing.

To celebrate passing my German test last week, I bought my first cookbook in German. The Real German Kitchen. Traditional meals from all the various regions in Germany.
The plan was that we would each select three appetizers, main courses and desserts that we wanted to try. Then we'd compare lists, see where we matched and that's what we'd cook. It went without saying that all choices would exclude anything with ingredients such as: pig's lung, calf liver, intestines, stomach, neck. That knocked about 50% of the book right off the list. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but, as in many cultures, one man's delicacy is another man's gag reflex.

We settled on Kartoffelsuppe (potato soup) from the Saxen region where Thomas was born and Rahmgulasch with Kloße (potato dumplings) from the Bayern region. We cheated slightly on the dessert since we had left-over lemon meringue pie from the day before. Now I have a dozen eggs left in the fridge from the forsaken Eierschecke. Next week.

I'm pleased to say the whole thing went off without a hitch and we had a really nice afternoon together. The only time Thomas cried was when he was chopping the onions. Everything was sehr, sehr lecker. How could it not be with an ingredient list that included: butter, heavy cream, creme fraiche, bacon, potatoes, more potatoes and salt? I think we consumed a week's worth of calories in one sitting. And then, in keeping with the potato theme, we retired to the couch where we spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics. Pretty much a perfect day in my book.

1 comment:

Prystauk said...

Glad to hear you had a fantastic and well-deserved Valentine's.

And thanks for making me hungry. (Instead of a can of soup I'll cook garlic lamb chops for lunch.)

Be well, enjoy the day and enjoy the Olympics as I am. (I am definitely an Olympics junkie. To date I've watched 51 hours of coverage thus far - my record to beat is 89 hours.)

Love, kisses and miss you,